Traveling and the Net

Just got back from a week in L.A. We were there on businss, and it was odd being back to where I lived for so long before Sue and I moved to CT.

We stayed at a friend’s house. Their cable modem access was a bit flaky (due to cabling out by the street, as it turned out) so I went to Starbucks frequently to go online.

LAX now has T-Mobile access everywhere (the same net provider Starbucks has) and the Phoenix airport has free wifi. LAX also now has lots of free power outlets for charging laptops, cell phones, iPods, etc.

Sooner rather than later, there will be wifi everywhere, and it’ll be as ubiquitous and reliable as landline phones. Imagine what all our gadgets will be like in five years. We’ll look back at what we have now as primitive!

Yet 2 billion people on the planet don’t have access to electricity and struggle to get potable water. The gap between the well-off and poor continues to widen.

And what would be the global warming ramifications if those 2 billion suddenly did get electricity? Just wondering…


  1. I expect this will come true… in the cities. Which will deepen the already-vast cultural divide between rural and urban America.

    At your suggestion, I’ve been reading “Deer Hunting with Jesus,” and it appears to me that much of what he discusses is really the cultural differences between those who live in urbs and suburbs, and those in what he calls “the heartland.” And of course the idea on both sides that the other is just plain weird.

    And they are. Having lived in both places, I can vouch for the fact that city and country life are so enormously different that a person who has experienced one and not the other would have no idea why his/her counterpart lives and thinks the way they do.

    Don’t forget that the U.S. is almost evenly divided between rural and urban. Your lifestyle (whatever it may be) is NOT the “typical” American lifestyle, because half the country lives differently.

    The moral of that is simple: get out and walk in someone else’s shoes every once in a while.

    But wait: that’s un-American! They should be like us! The old American cultural arrogance is taking its toll not only in foreign relations, but in the very cohesiveness (or lack thereof) of our nation.

  2. The whole gun debate may just be a shorthand way of referring to this cultural divide.

    Those in cities tend to see gunowners as dangerous while for those in rural areas, guns have been a part of the lifestyle for generations.

  3. Bageant’s comments on that debate are interesting, and I plan to try to verify whether they are true because I always figured gun control made sense in urban America. But in short, Bageant (a liberal who doesn’t own a gun) says that the anti-gun lobby has no real facts to back up its argument, but that it’s about fear of those who are different.

    That pretty much sums up his position on why liberals have ignored the heartland, too: they’re afraid of the people who live there. So maybe you’re right.

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